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Is there such a thing as a good divorce?

View profile for Layla Babadi
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This is a common question asked of family lawyers. A ‘good divorce’ usually means a divorce without the hostility generally associated with divorce proceedings. In some cases, hostility can be pushed to one side and parties can proceed amicably, working together towards a reasonable and fair financial settlement.

Since April 2022, the sole ground for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. No longer is there a need or indeed a place for further detail, justification, or blame. These rules allow couples to jointly apply for divorce, reflecting that the breakdown of a marriage doesn’t have to be a battle.

Divorce can really take its toll on everyone involved. This includes the parties themselves but most importantly their children and not to forget extended family and friends. As hard as the separation is for the parents, the children should also be a major consideration within the negotiations for settlement. Quite easily, parties may become embroiled in a vicious battle over finances and lose sight of other matters, including the needs of children.

Navigating a separation can be incredibly challenging. While every situation is unique, an amicable approach can benefit everyone involved. By encouraging open communication and collaborative problem-solving, couples can find mutually agreeable solutions that minimise conflict and prioritise the well-being of all parties, especially children.

This can be achieved by keeping in mind the following:

  • Always keep the children as your main priority.
    Try to protect them from as much of the disagreement and separation as possible. Don’t use negative language about your spouse in front of the children and remind them that they are not to blame and that both parents still love them and will always care for them.
  • Keep communicating.
    Many issues that occur are caused by misunderstandings and confusion. These issues can often be avoided if you are able to keep the lines of communication open. You may need to use the services of a mediator to assist as they will be neutral in the process.
  • Take your time and find space when you need it.
    These situations can often feel overpowering and take over your life. At these times it is important to take a step back.
  • Seek support.
    Friends, family, colleagues will all understand what you are going through, and their help and support will be invaluable.
  • Be honest.
    This means being honest not just with your spouse but with yourself. What do you hope to achieve? What do you need to do to move on to the next stage. Think carefully and be realistic and honest with yourself.
  • Seek specialist help when needed.
    Many people fear that lawyers will merely make matters worse and cause further acrimony. This is far from the truth. Good lawyers will act on your instructions and if you make it clear you want to resolve matter in a friendly and cost-effective manner, they will assist you in doing so. Other professionals including financial advisors, mortgage brokers, estate agents all should be able to help you understand and simplify the process.